CUC reports 59.9% water loss

COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho said as of this month, 59.94 percent of the water they produce is lost before it reaches their clients.

In July, the water loss rate was 59 percent.

In a report to the Senate Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communications, Camacho said they “continue every effort to become better,” adding that there’s a lot of work involved in the reduction of non-revenue water.

He noted that the rate in Dec. 2016 was 75 percent.

On Tinian, he said, the rate was 40 percent while on Rota, it was 80 percent.

Camacho said CUC’s goal is to continue to reduce non-revenue water to the acceptable Pacific utility standard which is around 30 percent.

“There’s always non-revenue water in every utility. Who has a system that has no leak, theft or billing issues?”

On Saipan, he said CUC is now providing 24-hour water to 80 percent of its customers. On Tinian and Rota, he added, 100 percent of the customers enjoy 24-hour water service.

In a separate interview, CUC Deputy Executive Director William Gilmore said they have already changed about 300 water meters as of this month.

“We have made significant progress,” he said, adding that they also ensure that their customers are only paying for the services they use.

He said on Saipan, 99 percent of their customers have been metered while all customers on Tinian and Rota have water meters.

In 2016, CUC’s rate consultant reported that 70 percent of the water production or 9 million to 10 million gallons had been wasted due to leaks, water theft and inaccurate meter, which cost CUC $38 million in annual water revenue loss.

To improve their water operations, Camacho said they are prioritizing the repair of aging water infrastructure, mitigating water leaks, eliminating tank overflows, excessive pumping, theft, illegal connections and undocumented lines.

He said they are also replacing multi-meter accounts with a master meter, and providing 24-hour water in more areas islandwide.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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